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From Marc Portier <...@outerthought.org>
Subject Re: [RT] Checked exceptions considered harmful
Date Wed, 14 Apr 2004 14:59:33 GMT


Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:

> Ugo Cei wrote:
> 
>> I must say that I started this discussion with an open mind, but the 
>> more I think about it, the more I am convinced that Bruce Eckel is 
>> right: Java doesn't need checked exceptions, they are a failed 
>> experiment.
> 
> 
> One could extend the concept and say the same about strong typing.
> 
> But then one could extend the concept to unit testing as well.
> 
> I think that in an open development environment the need for quality 
> assurance given by local semantic controllers (compilers, unit testers) 
> is much reduced.
> 
> At the same time, continuous integration *is* a requirement and this 
> needs some sort of programmatic semantic evaluability (and here is where 
> strong typing gets useful to indicate failed dependencies).
> 
> My point is: contract solidity empowers SoC but slows innovation. It's a 
> price to pay and I think there is no way out.
> 
> I think checked exceptions are not harmful *IF* and only if, they 
> indicate a strong and useful contract that can be used by local semantic 
> controllers in a meaningful way.
> 
> if not, well, yes, they are harmful, just like
> 
>   Object get(Object) throws Exception
> 
> is stupid because gives a false sense of solidity.
> 
> I do NOT think that
> 
>   InputStream open(File) throws IOException
> 
> is harmful, rather the opposite. It clearly indicates things that 
> *could* happen normally in the execution of the program and give you a 
> way to react to that.
> 
> Leo is right: exceptions in java are signals more than errors. They are, 
> in fact, exceptions to the rule, but not something that doesn't belong 
> to the rule at all (those are Errors!).
> 
> Ugo, I totally agree with you that Cocoon is a mess regarding exceptions 
> and I would welcome any attempt to remove useless wrapping and stuff 
> like that.
> 
> My opinion is that if you are given an exception that you don't know 
> what to do with, that exception should not have been checked.
> 

+1 I like the additional nuances in this view a lot better then the original


in dutch we have a saying: 'to throw away the kid with the water of his 
bad' (original: het kind met het badwater weggooien)

meaning: when cleaning out stuff, you shouldn't throw out the real 
valuable parts (even if those were the cause that got you in the mess)


as for 'social experiment that should not be repeated': might well be, I 
don't know: in the mean time we're stuck with it and should use it in 
the most optimal way

regards,
-marc=
-- 
Marc Portier                            http://outerthought.org/
Outerthought - Open Source, Java & XML Competence Support Center
Read my weblog at                http://blogs.cocoondev.org/mpo/
mpo@outerthought.org                              mpo@apache.org

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